Raiders: 3 backup running backs to target in free agency

Raiders (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Raiders (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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Raiders (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images) /

1. Jordan Howard

At one point, Jordan Howard looked to be one of the fastest rising young running backs in the NFL. After being selected in the fifth round back in 2016, Howard was voted to the Pro Bowl in his rookie season following a 1,300-yard season on the ground.

He followed that up with a less impressive, but still effective 1,100-yard season in which his average dropped from a stellar 5.2 yards per carry in 2016 to only 4.1 yards per carry in 2017.

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And after a woeful 2018 campaign in which he failed to even top 1,000 yards on just 3.7 yards per attempt, he was shipped to the Philadelphia Eagles for a future sixth-round draft choice.

The ultimate indicator of his plummeting value.

But Howard rebounded nicely as part of the Eagles’ backfield committee in 2019 rushing for 525 yards on a much-improved 4.4 yards per carry. And at only 25-years-old, the former Indiana standout still holds some value.

In turn, he would be the perfect complement to Josh Jacobs.

Howard is significantly younger than the other two options on this list and has the upside of being one of the best running backs in the league just a few short years ago. Still, he should come cheap on an open market that doesn’t value running backs — especially with his skill set.

Howard has never been much of a pass-catcher, but he won’t need to fill that role in Las Vegas. He will be asked to spell Jacobs from time to time and start in a pinch if Jacobs were to go down.

Next. Raiders: The pros and cons of signing Tom Brady in free agency. dark

A cheap and affordable running back who was a Pro Bowler three seasons ago? Sounds like a perfect backup option for the Raiders in 2020.